WALKING through nature helped Parkwood resident Chelle Fisher beat her alcohol addiction.
To mark the third anniversary of her sobriety, Mrs Fisher recently completed an eight-day 202km hike from Subiaco to New Norcia to raise funds and awareness for women’s mental health.
She was joined by three other women who walked six of the eight days in rain completing what is known as the Camino Salvado – The Pilgrim Trail on July 26. The walkers raised $2418 for the Women’s Health and Family Service in Northbridge and the Pilgrim Trail Foundation.
For Mrs Fisher the walk was personal, having struggled for many years with poor mental health and drug and |alcohol addiction.
“After a 22-year battle with alcoholism I was finally able to overcome the biggest challenge of my life,” she said.
“The Camino Salvado is called the trail of reflections and it is really about being able to put aside all your stress and worries and really reflect on your life.
“For my third year of sobriety, I thought that would be the perfect trail for me.”
She said one in three Australian women would suffer depression or anxiety during their lifetime and not all women were in a financial |position to be able to obtain assistance from support programs and organisations.
Mrs Fisher, who now runs her own walking tour business, recalls a time when she would head to the bottle shop after work and buy a six-pack of beer for the night.
“The first couple of years I was probably wasting $150 a week on alcohol without even realising it,” she said.
“I just woke up on July 19, 2014, and thought: ‘I can’t do it any more’ and went cold turkey.”
These days, instead of reaching for a drink Mrs Fisher goes for walks after work and through her business “Down Under Discoveries” introduces others to the benefits of bush walks.